Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Riding Key West

I've collected a few pictures some taken recently and some older to remind us all of the chaos that is coming with the winter months.

Helmets in Florida are optional for adults over 21 years of age and in Key West most people take advantage of the law. I don't think its unreasonable in light of the fact that we have no tax payer funded single payer system so breaking your head may very well break your bank, not mine.

Sometimes I ride without a helmet but I rarely ride without gloves or shoes. The fact is people depend on their two wheels, not because they love to ride but because scooters are cheap and efficient so the idea of togging up in armor plate to get to work or the shops or home is far from their minds.

This easy going attitude to riding drives people from elsewhere crazy sometimes. I think there can be a little too much stress on the notion that passive safety is more important than active safety.

Which is not to say these flip flopped riders don't sometimes ride drunk, or get into wrecks and from time to time break their heads.

Tourists on rental scooters are another proposition altogether because they, like their pedestrian compadres tend to treat Key West like Disneyworld- a place where nothing bad is allowed to happen - and where we who live here are extras in the drama of their lives.

Key West makes for a lovely back drop for vacation pictures and the heat even in winter can overwhelm people not used to it. What seems like a fresh humidity-free winter afternoon to me seems cloyingly hot to someone who was in a snowdrift 2 hours earlier.

I like how bicycles and scooters are daily transportation in Key West used to get dogs to the park, groceries home from the shops. I see renters enjoying scooters on their visits, and riding bicycles too but these pleasures they don't take home with them and start a new way of traveling at home.



Robert Wilson said...

If I owned a scoot rental place that would be one of the things I would insist upon. While I understand it's optional, I would require that they at least wear a helmet. What they do after that is up to them, but it would reduce my liability and I would sleep better at night.

Conchscooter said...

They offer helmets but they can't require people to wear them. I've never heard of anyone dying a rental company over this issue.
I am sick of liability fears limiting everything but we are stuck with it.

Richard Holt said...

Good grief!

An argument in favour of not having a National Health Service, there's a line of thought I should never have started.

"Better with your boots on" though, as Noel Coward sang.

Conchscooter said...

True enough. Canada has a national health plan like the Europeans and they require helmets. Here we happily let bombing victims pick up their own medical tabs for the privilege of being on the front lines of mass assassinations. Better to have been in Paris than Boston.